October 1, 2010
Filed under Trailer Reviews
Designing a fifth-wheel for full-timers or for those who spend a lot of time on the road
takes careful planning. While occasional users can tolerate floorplans and amenities that
miss the mark, those who rely on a fifth-wheel year-round are much more dependent on
designs that work well enough to keep stationary homesickness at bay. Heartland’s 2011
Bighorn 3610RE does just that. It also adds a uniquely shaped front cap in concert with its
kingpin placement so the fiver can be turned 88 degrees, without enlisting the services of
a longbed truck.
Right after the trailer was delivered, I went on an external voyage to
explore the new Bighorn’s outer build features. Impressive is the massive 12-inch I-beam
steel frame, while the all-new and nicely designed front compartment also lifted an
eyebrow. The other compartments were also built with purpose and function in mind,
including a universal docking center in one that’s dedicated to making short work out of
connecting to campground utilities. And a slew of subtle details are present, such as an
illuminated keyless entry, a hydraulic landing gear and easy-close slam latches throughout,
all using keys specific to Bighorn products.
Once aboard the Bighorn 3610RE, it didn’t take
long to understand how appropriately titled the RE nameplate is to the “rear entertainment”
features in this trailer. Taking advantage of two healthy-sized opposing slideouts, the
large expanse makes way for an arrangement of plush recliners and a couch, granting visible
access to the 40-inch LCD HDTV wired into the overhead surround-sound system.
Elegant-looking cherry hardwood cabinetry (optional) throughout the huge living, dining and
entertaining areas is finished off with a nice touch of matching fascia moldings
surrounding all four slideouts.
Once the streetside center slide is expanded, the kitchen
takes on a very homelike atmosphere. The slideout contains the stove and refrigerator and
opens the floor space so that the peninsula counter (with sinks) and secondary dining area
can be used freely. A freestanding table and four chairs share the curbside slideout with
Workability in the confines of the kitchen is superb and enhanced by the
innovative layout of Hanex residential-type hard countertops mixed in with the sink
placement. Heartland arranged the kitchen utilities and counters in such a way so the area
can be supported by a generous amount of cabinetry and accessible storage. All of the
kitchen stowage relies heavily on quality, full extension steel ball bearing slides.
homelike feeling of this trailer is further amplified by distinct living quarters fit for a
king and queen. Besides the open airy sensation experienced upon entry – thanks to the four
slides – the bedroom has been visibly lightened up using a combination of well-placed
cabinets, mirrors, lights and a coordinated blend of earth tones in the décor package. Just
beyond the edge of the king-size memory-foam pillowtop mattress lies an enormous linen
closet with a spot for a stackable washer and dryer.
In the master bedroom, a significant
opening has been made for easy access to a hearty private bath. It can also be accessed
from the hallway leading to the front bedroom. Inside, you’ll find a nicely appointed
selection of lights, cabinets and a wash station, sitting beside the one-piece neo-angle
shower enclosure. Above the shower is a skylight, which allows natural sunlight to enter.
The Bighorn 3610RE is an excellent full-time fifth-wheel platform, which focuses heavily on
innovative designs throughout the trailer, making for one of the most user-friendly
home-styled trailers on the market. If you’re seeking out a well-rounded fifth-wheel to
full-time in, Heartland’s should be included in your search.
Vehicles LLC, (574) 262-5992, www.heartlandrvs.com.
Ext Length: 38′ 6″
Ext Width: 8′
Ext Height: 12′ 11.5″ (with A/C)
Int Height: 6′ 4″
Freshwater Cap: 75 gal
Black-/Gray-water Cap: 45 gal/90 gal
LP-gas Cap: 15 gal
Hitch Weight: 2,080 lb
GVWR: 16,000 lb